There are a number of important concerns that people should consider that are charged with a sex crime in Texas. Some of the most important concerns relate to registering as a sex offender, the type of crime that will end up on the person’s record and going to jail or prison. These are all legitimate concerns and depending on the outcome of your criminal case can affect you for the rest of your life.
Sex offenses include all forms of illegal sexual activity, ranging from the crime of rape, usually defined as sexual penetration without consent, to the crime of prostitution, usually defined as sex for hire. The most serious crimes involve the sexual assault of children or include physical injury. Other sex offenses include public indecency, prostitution, solicitation, lewd acts, and statutory rape.
Generally, sexual assault includes unwanted physical contact with a sexual organ. In some states, the laws also prohibit aggressive sexually suggestive statements, without requiring physical contact. Physical contact is considered unwanted if the victim refused, physically objected or was unable to give legal consent. It is not necessary to show that the accuser physically resisted. Current laws are usually gender-neutral, so they protect all sexual-assault victims.
Types of Sexually Motivated Offenses
- Sexual Assault: Also referred to as rape. It is the crime of having nonconsensual sex, either with a stranger or someone you know. You can also be charged with sexual assault if you have sexual relations with someone who is unable to consent, whether because of consciousness, age, or mental capacity.
- Online Solicitation of a Minor: These charges involve the accused allegedly engaging in sexually explicit behavior with a person who is 14 or younger, or a person who the accused believes is 14 or younger. The offense is a third-degree felony, unless the accused offender knows the victim is younger than 14 years old
- Indecency with a Child: Indecency with a child in Texas also occurs when someone commits indecent exposure knowing a child is present. Also, it is committed when you cause the child to expose the child’s anus or genitals. Merely exposing oneself or having the child expose him or herself is insufficient. The exposure must be done with the intent to arouse or sexually gratify someone.
- Aggravated Sexual Assault: Aggravated sexual assault is a sexual assault in which the victim sustained serious bodily injury, a deadly weapon was used or the accused threatened to make the victim become part of sex trafficking.
- Sexting: Sexting involves the sending of sexually explicit pictures and/or messages by use of a cellphone or other device. When sexting involves a minor, the minor who sends or receives the messages may be subject to criminal penalties under Texas law.
Punishments for sex crimes vary depending on the particular charge and the circumstances involved. People who have prior sex crime convictions face much harsher penalties. Punishments for sexual offenses can range from 180 Days to 99 years in prison.
At the Law Office of Jerry Michael Acosta we work hard to get the best outcome in your case. To get more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense lawyer regarding sex crimes charges, please contact us at (713) 869-4000 or send us a message by clicking here.